By Aaron Gulley, Outside
Bikepacking used to be a fringe activity. These days, it’s about as commonplace as sidewall tears in the rocky desert. There are drop-bar and flat-bar bikes built expressly for it, videos about it, and it’s even popping up in the New York Times.
And, unlike a decade ago, when only a few tiny companies sold made-to-order bags, some of the biggest brands in cycling have started building packs to make it easier to get out and camp overnight on a bike.
Those tiny brands, such as Apidura, Nuclear Sunrise, Oveja Negra, and Porcelain Rocket, continue to innovate and create excellent products. Heck, for the most part I still mainly use my 10-year-old packs from Revelate Designs—the stuff is that good. At the same time, the mom-and-pop shops haven’t always kept up with burgeoning demand, which is partly why I love that big companies like Specialized and Blackburn have gotten into this space.